Heterodera elachista found in Piemonte region, Italy
In Italy, Heterodera elachista (EPPO Alert List) was first reported in 2013 in a soil sample which had been collected in 2012 from a maize field (Zea mays) in Emilia-Romagna region. This first outbreak was successfully eradicated but in 2017, another outbreak was detected in one farm in Lombardia region where eradication measures were applied (EPPO RS 2014/045 and 2017/042). In May 2018, H. elachista was found in the Piemonte region (province of Novara) during official surveys. The nematode was detected in soil samples collected from maize and rice (Oryza sativa) fields in the municipalities of Casalvolone, Landiona and Recetto. In infested fields, no damage was observed. The identity of the nematode was confirmed using morphological and molecular methods. Measures will be taken to prevent any further spread, and the potential risks presented by H. elachista will be assessed at national level to determine appropriate phytosanitary measures. In the meantime, agricultural machinery, tools and footwear will be cleaned before being moved or used in other fields. The source of this new outbreak in Piemonte is unknown.
The pest status of Heterodera elachista in Italy is officially declared as: Present, in specific parts of the Member State, where host crop(s) are grown; under containment, in case eradication is impossible.
NPPO of Italy (2018-06).